RI plans to open 2 additional mass vaccination sites by mid-March


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Department of Health said Tuesday two more mass vaccination sites could be up and running by mid-March.

The Health Department said they are looking to put two additional clinics in the northern and southern part of Rhode Island, also weighing the option of placing one on the East Bay.

Less than a week after opening two mass vaccination sites, more than 30,000 appointments have been made between them, according to the Health Department. More than half of those appointments were booked over the past two days.

House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi toured the state’s mass vaccination clinic at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Tuesday.

“I saw a very efficient operation where hundreds of people were being vaccinated,” he said.

There are currently three different ways to get the vaccine in Rhode Island, and Shekarchi said each will play a role in getting shots into people’s arms.

“Obviously we need to get more done and faster,” he said. “We are not satisfied, but I will tell you there has been a strong effort here and I clearly think we are moving in the right direction.”

Rep. Raymond Hull, the chairman of the state’s Vaccine Task Force, also a got a firsthand look at the operation. He said the mass vaccination clinic reassures him that things will get better over time.

“We will get through this,” Hull said.

The Health Department said it plans to post mass vaccination clinic appointments twice a week on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Fridays at 5 p.m.

As of Tuesday, the Health Department said it has already canceled 50 appointments for Rhode Islanders who were currently not eligible to receive the vaccine.

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